** Ambulance Victoria in Australia starts random drug testing
** Tennessee man charged for sexual assault on female medic
** Ambulance medics in Victoria are now subject to random drug testing including hair sample analysis. That is the word from The Herald Sun (Therese Allaoui/December 31) which said the revised policy will see individuals caught with drugs or alcohol in their system receive counseling if they confess to illicit substance misuse. According to the newspaper, the approach has infuriated the EMS union. Ambulance Employees Association secretary Steve McGhie said his members will find the random checks insulting. McGhie also said the testing is unnecessary as the service has not recently had an intoxicated paramedic on the job. Adding fuel to the fire is the service’s decision to encourage those suspecting colleagues of being under the influence to report the practitioner. Ambulance Victoria acting chief executive Mark Rogers, however, disagreed with the fuss, saying the tact is similar to that used by police. Rogers said drug and alcohol abuse are a societal problem from which paramedics are not immune.
UNITED STATES NEWS
** A Tennessee man has been charged with assault on a medical provider and sexual assault after allegedly grabbing the genitals of a female EMT New Year’s Day. The Chattanoogan (January 4) said Brandon Lee Goins, 22, was taken into custody after EMS was called to transport him to hospital for a drug overdose. According to the newspaper, he was initially cooperative, but became agitated when a IV was started. Along with inappropriately touching the female provider, Goins was also kicking and aggressively waving his arms while in the rear of the EMS unit. There is no word on his next court date.